The last stop on our tour of the downtown Los Angeles area was the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels. I was a bit on the fence about visiting- the pictures online weren’t that compelling- BUT there was an accessible crypt which was right up the alley of some our best friends who we were traveling with.
We approached from the back corner of the building, which made me even more skeptical about my choice. As we walked around the block to find the front entrance, I started to wonder to myself- “wait… how big is this place anyways?” For the most part, I can get a sense of scale from looking at photos, but the sheer size of this church/ compound was astonishing.
Built on an elevated city block, one enters from the lowest point, rising up the stairs to approach a huge courtyard, reminiscent of the temple courtyard of the Dome of the Rock. The church seems massive from the exterior and entering into the church itself, that scale is reflected with excellence on the interior as well.
There was something about the abstract starkness inside- recalling the brutalist style of architecture. What was being worshipped here? I think the vastness of the universe, the unknowingness of life- sheer awe.
We made it just in time to visit the crypts and the chapels below. For being so well kept, clean and feeling new, it was at odds with the typical spectral nature of being amongst the buried dead. That being said, it was still creepy as shit. Its never a bad thing to pay respects to the dead- we’ll all be there soon enough.
Website: Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels